Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Martine McCutcheon Shop now Fitbit
Profile for Germinal > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Germinal
Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,231
Helpful Votes: 1840

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Germinal (St. Ives)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Marxism and History (Theory and History)
Marxism and History (Theory and History)
by Matt Perry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible overview, 13 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a good basic introduction and defence of the classical Marxist method. Not as in-depth as Paul Blackledge's 'Reflections on the Marxist Theory of History' but is just 150 pages, is pitched at undergraduate level and has a handy glossary of terminology as well as discussions on method, history and criticisms from empiricists and post-modernists.

One thing does concern me both with the criticism of Marxist method and with its defence: the critics accuse Marxism of vulgar economic determinism and reductionism and the Marxists successfully counter the charge, but neither critics nor defenders come up with examples of vulgar economic determinism and reductionism supposedly present in Marxist history.

Anyway, with this volume, there's really no excuse for anyone to misrepresent or misunderstand the Marxist method when such a handy and readable account is available.


The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising
The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising
by Gilbert Achcar
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.58

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best analysis of the Arab uprising.....so far., 15 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Gilbert Achcar has been a keen observer of the Arab world's history and politics for a number of years now and follows up excellent past contributions such as 'The Eastern Cauldron', 'The Clash of Barbarisms' and 'The Arabs and the Holocaust' with this 'The People Want. A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising', where he brings the best of his insight and judgement to bear on the Arab revolutions.

This book is a magnificent achievement. Firstly, Achcar has improved considerably as a writer and the book flows pefectly. Second, Achcar is steeped in the political currents of the region and isn't some newcomer jumping on a bandwagon but an analyst with decades of experience in the subject he has mastered. Thirdly, Achcar's Marxist method has also improved and this is completely related to the first two points.

Achcar starts with a history of the political economy of the Arab world. Here, he is chiefly concerned with how capitalism has developed in the region. How are Arab economies organised? How do they relate to one another? To the dominant powers in Europe and America? What are the social relations internally? Who are the winners and losers?

Having established the background, Achcar then forensically examines the revolutions themselves. Who started them? How? How did they develop? Inform one another? This is followed with a 'balance sheet' assessment of the revolutions so far, the, entirely expected, rise of the Islamist parties but also their limitations in that they are, like the dictatorships, committed to neo-liberal versions of capitalism and, thus, cannot solve the contradictions that led to revolution in the first place and are in danger of being overthrown and Achcar is quite clear on the dangers that the Muslim Brotherhood face in Egypt - the prescience of reading this just 10 days after Morsi was overthrown is striking.

The last section, where Achcar seems to support a left-reformist solution based upon trades unions in Tunisia and the Nasserites plus activists plus new free trades unions in Egypt is, perhaps, the weakest section.

Again, a writer and analyst who has spent years in the region and examining it makes you realise how much our media is poorly informed and, consequently, poorly informing. This is the book for getting to grips with what has happened, what is happening and why.


Nhs Sos: How The Nhs Was Betrayed – And How We Can Save It
Nhs Sos: How The Nhs Was Betrayed – And How We Can Save It
by Raymond Tallis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The NHS will be a state insurance provider not a state deliverer", 6 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
"The NHS will be a state insurance provider not a state deliverer" is the key message of this book. The reforms of the NHS over the past 30 years, carried out by both Labour and Tory/Lib Dem governments, have been a vehicle to enable the creation of conditions whereby private providers can gain access to billions of pounds of health funding.

The book is a multi-author series of essays that each addresses aspects of the assault upon our health service. The reader is presented with the evidence of what actually happened; how the introduction of a full-blown market into the National Health Service was carefully planned. The authors convincingly set out a good case that the latest set of NHS reforms were a fraudulent deception on the part of mainstream politicians beyond reasonable doubt and that the assault on the NHS is also an assault upon democracy. This is the books great strength.

The weakness is the section which deals with 'what is to be done?' to save our health service. Taking the NHS back into being a public provider isn't suggested, whereas as this is surely an essential first step, and no solution to the attack upon democracy embodied by the health reforms is addressed such as the social-democratic proposal of elected health boards to both increase service accountability and prevent future attacks by the vultures and spivs, as advocated in Player and Leys 'The Plot Against the NHS'.

That criticism aside, this is an essential book and everyone should read it and judge our politicians accordingly.


REVOLUTION AND CIVIL WAR IN SPAIN, THE
REVOLUTION AND CIVIL WAR IN SPAIN, THE
by Pierre Broue
Edition: Paperback
Price: £38.43

5.0 out of 5 stars History as it should be written., 3 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I endorse MH Lambert's review. Broue and Temime's book is history as it should be written - excellent analysis interwoven into a highly readable narrative with domestic, international, economic, political, social factors all impacting upon one another. It's a classic of the Marxist historical method.


No Title Available

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best affordable whisky, 10 Jun. 2013
By 'affordable' I mean below £50 (as of June 2013).

The aroma is rich - very rich. You get massive smoke. Then iodine, spice, sherry and sweet toffee/vanilla. Simply sniffing it is worth the price.

Then there's the taste. It's thick and syrupy. There is smoke and sherry and dates and peat and oak and the richest of rich christmas cake. And more smoke.

The finish is long. It is spice and sweet vanilla and more fruit and smoke and is still there 20 minutes later.

The whisky mellows after a few months of the bottle being opened. In my opinion, this does not improve the whisky. It's best if the bottle is consumed in short order.


Aberlour 12 Year Old / Double Cask Matured / 70cl
Aberlour 12 Year Old / Double Cask Matured / 70cl
Offered by ewhisky
Price: £29.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rich, sweet, good value., 10 Jun. 2013
I drank a bottle of this over a 6 month period.

Always a rich, christmas cakey nose

Initially it's very rich and sweet to the taste and benefits from a small splash of water to tone it down and bring out the fruityness.

After a few months the whisky has mellowed and the splash is no longer required and you still get the rich fruityness which lasts into a medium length finish.

Good valued sherried whisky.


GLENMORANGIE Nectar D'Or 12 Year Old Highland Malt Whisky 70cl Bottle
GLENMORANGIE Nectar D'Or 12 Year Old Highland Malt Whisky 70cl Bottle
Offered by Drink Finder
Price: £55.45

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 10 Jun. 2013
If you like Glenmorangie Original, then you'll love Nectar D'or.

What the two years extra maturation in Sauternes casks has done is to take all the smooth, fudgy, biscuity, creme brulee and vanilla aroma, flavours and finish of the Original and then intensify them.


Ardbeg Uigeadail Whisky, 70 cl
Ardbeg Uigeadail Whisky, 70 cl
Offered by The Grapevine
Price: £53.76

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 3 Jun. 2013
Ardbeg plus sherry.

I love this more and more each time I drink some. Smells of peat, sugar, smoke and, maybe, coffee. Tastes sweet and then there's a numbing of the mouth as the peat smoke takes hold and a dry smoke literally hits the throat and then nose. The finish goes on for ages, your mouth is still tingling 30 minutes later.

Utterly brilliant.


LOST REVOLUTION, THE: Germany 1918 to 1923
LOST REVOLUTION, THE: Germany 1918 to 1923
by Chris Harman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential history, 25 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The German Revolution is largely forgotten. But Chris Harman is correct - it was the hinge point of the twentieth century upon which the fate of humanity swung.

The German Revolution was lost and because it was lost other political forces filled the space vacated by democracy, socialism and workers power. Those forces were, in the West, fascism and it's Nazi variant and, in the East, Stalinism and the victory of a bureaucratic counter-revolution to destroy the Russian Revolution. Humanity paid the price. The choice was socialism or barbarism and we got barbarism.

How the German Revolution was lost is Harman's task to explain. His main thesis is that German revolutionaries didn't build a distinct revolutionary political current that would be able to lead a revolution and, when they had doe so, were haunted by their previous failures leading to more indecisiveness or adventurism. Harman's aim is also directed at the so-called socialist leaders of the SPD who sought to defeat revolution and worked with reactionaries who were prepared to wade through blood to achieve their aims. The disastrous meddling of the Communist International also comes in for criticism.

A good book. Well written. The argument is convincing. The focus is perhaps too exclusively on the Left with little or no discussion of the counter-revolutionary forces.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 7, 2013 1:14 AM BST


Auchentoshan - Three Wood - Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky - 70cl - 43% ABV
Auchentoshan - Three Wood - Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky - 70cl - 43% ABV
Offered by The Grapevine
Price: £46.43

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can eat this whisky, 25 May 2013
Lovely deep colour. Smell of fruit, toffee and sherry. Tastes like an alcoholic fruit cake. Long fruit and treacle finish. A whisky that you can chew.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20